So often, we will say of a given actor that they’re so good, they could read the phone book and make it compelling.
Today we say unto you: that’s child’s play. How many actors can pitch a ridiculous toy line based on a barely there cartoon, and make THAT compelling?
We have video evidence of exactly one: Vin Diesel. It seems that in 1994, years before he’d appear in Saving Private Ryan, the actor took a job pitching Mattel’s Street Sharks line at Toy Fair. With a shark fin strapped to his back, and a script that clearly calls for him to spout catchphrases like, “Say hello to that round mound of pound and his power slam!” and “Sends the competition to a watery grave!” he sells the hell out of these toy shark-people. Even action features that make no sense, like “Feels-Real Shark Skin!” and a hammerhead who launches his own face as a missile, get the hard sell, as the pre-Iron Giant actor proves that hey, maybe he IS a gun after all: a real pistol.
But he saves his deep reserves of energy for the big finale, revealing a hand puppet whose facial expressions he can somewhat control. Cutting loose with a roar so loud it could be one of Dominic Toretto’s muscle car engines, he proceeds to engage his newly discovered persona in the most intense game of “Stop Hitting Yourself” ever. It’s fast, furious…dare we say gloriously Riddick-ulous?
Really, it’s just proof that however buff he may be, the D&D-playing Diesel is and has always been a massive nerd. Welcome home, pal.
Would you see a Street Sharks movie with Vin Diesel in it? Tell us!